Saturday, November 22, 2008

Guess What's For Dinner! It's Food People!

By now most of us have seen the unintentionally funny video of Sarah Palin pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving and the subsequent interview with a couple of turkeys being slaughtered in the background.

I have been personally taken aback and generally amused by the outcry of murder, especially from those I have personally seen eat turkey. Apparently, when it comes from the deli counter and is sliced off of a rather bland looking blob, that is somehow different. When a whole dressed turkey makes it into the average American's oven, it has been sanitized beyond recognition and even the squicky to some giblets are often encased in an opaque wrapping for discreet disposal for the faint of stomach.

As a lifelong hunter Palin probably doesn't understand the squeem factor that pervades today's young generation. While my father was not a hunter (although he had a shotgun and pistol should we make too close contact with a bear on family camping trips), we took several fishing vacations every year and all were expected to bait our own hooks and at least help clean those fish (knives are sharp!).

It's food people!

A couple of my kids attempted to be assimilated into the vegetarian culture under a lot of peer pressure. Fine, I said, but the rest of us will carry on as before. It wasn't long before their diet of rice, beans, bread, vegetables, and fruit (augmented with the predictable teen sugar injection) became rote and they could no longer resist the temptation of a perfectly executed beef roast or a platter of fried chicken. Resistance to my cooking is futile. Ask my husband.

The hypocrisy that surrounds food politics these days is astounding. You can eat meat in most cases, but must pretend that the "Kill-Free Turkey Fairy" made a delivery to your local grocer. That the steak on your plate was the by-product of Elsie the Cow's elective nip-tuck surgery.

For many years I used to grow my own vegetables in a 20'x20' plot in my backyard. I used Square Foot Gardening (author Mel Bartholomew) techniques so we produced a lot of food. I often had so much left over I would have to give it away. My mother refused to eat anything I grew citing squeamishness that I grew all this in the ground (my parents divorced when I was very young, partly due to Dad's Grizzly Adams tendencies). When I asked her where she thought vegetables came from she just scowled and said that produce from the grocer was "more sanitary". OK then. More tomatoes for my friends. And less chance for E-Coli.

I wonder if most people know where Jello comes from.

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